The Saucony Peregrine 7 is ready for battle.

The aggressive-plated shoe arrived just in time for Canadians to take on the tough winter conditions. The newly-released trail shoe is ready to take on conditions of all sorts including undulating terrain, slippery surfaces or wherever your off-road adventures will take you. Fortunately, for us here at Canadian Running, testing came at an ideal time as trails were muddy before becoming snow-covered leaving little room for error to take on our feet. In our experience, the spike-like sole is the biggest takeaway from the shoe and made it a great lightweight option for trail runners of all abilities. (Or, for the non-trail runner who wants to explore a bit.)

RELATED: Nine shoes that will outrun winter.

The shoe is shockingly light considering the Peregrine 7’s durability and grit. Note that the Peregrine 7 is not waterproof or water resistant though Saucony does offer a winter-edition of the shoe known as the Peregrine Ice+. The primary differences, minus the additional cost of $40, are that the Ice+ features a Vibram Arctic Grip on the sole as well as a protected upper that keeps water and moisture away.

Despite the Peregrine 7 having a winter edition in the Ice+, the Peregrine 7 performed quite well on hard-packed snow and slippery conditions. It’s always satisfying to get back from a run knowing that you conquered some tough conditions and the Peregrine 7 will allow you to do just that. And while the Ice+ is predominantly relevant to the winter as its name suggests, the Peregrine 7 is a year-round option for trail runners this spring, summer and fall before further tweaks are made.

As with many trail shoes, the overall structure of the shoe is quite stiff, especially in the heel, to protect from the shoe’s intended purpose: taking on technical terrain. The thicker upper has less breathability than a neutral trainer but the added protection is key for your off-road adventures. The heel is supportive and padded enough that CR testers didn’t experience any sort of blisters or unwanted rubbing on the Achilles. The stiff heel may bother runners used to a softer, more flexible backing though one tester switched from the Kinvara 8, which has an almost non-existent heel, to the Peregrine 7 without issue.

Because of the expected off-road terrain for which the shoe is intended, most of everything about the shoe is reinforced for durability including thickened laces, a protective coat across the upper and toe box, and super-hard rubber on the sole. One small issue with the rubber bottom is that it will be uncomfortable for runners who clip the back of their calves on each stride.

For those familiar with Saucony’s predecessor, the Peregrine 6, much of the shoe remains the same minus the reduction in stitching reducing potential hotspots for blisters.

The essentials:

Release date: January 2017 (available now)
Type: Neutral trail
Heel-to-toe drop: 4 mm (21.5 mm to 17.5 mm)
Weight: Men’s: 9.4 oz., Women’s: 8.4 oz.
Listed price: $149.99

For the city dwellers who may not have immediate access to trails, the Peregrine 7’s rubber is also forgiving enough that they can be worn on harder surfaces. As this was the case for Canadian Running, a few of the runs required stretches of asphalt before getting to the trails and the shoes didn’t feel clunky or out-of-place on the city streets.

Don’t be mistaken that the shoe’s lightweight design will take away from its durability as an EBO Rockplate protects the feet from the elements. However, the regular-cut of the shoe and the Peregrine 7’s lightweight profile compared to other trail shoes means that there may be sturdier shoes on the market for extreme conditions. CR sees the Peregrine 7 as a solid entry point for runners looking to dabble in trail running or experienced trail runners looking for a lightweight option for everyday training.

Size-wise, there is no need to go a half-size up or down with the Peregrine 7. CR testers found that it fits true to size and that the inner cushioning provides a soft medium between the foot and the upper, especially around the back half of the shoe.

There are two colourways in both the men’s and women’s lines of the Peregrine 7, all of which retail for $149.99 online. The featured images you see in this story are the men’s red/orange/black colourway.

Look for the Peregrine 7 online or shop nearby by checking out Canadian Running’s list of local retailers.


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